Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI dies at 95

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who was born Joseph Alois Ratzinger, has died at the age of 95, the Vatican announced.

Benedict in 2013 became the first pope in 600 years to step down, citing old age.

His death on Saturday came days after Pope Francis had asked for prayers for his predecessor, saying he was “very sick”.

Born in Germany and raised in Bavaria, he would henceforth be known as Benedict XVI.

One of the latest known photographs of Benedict was taken on December 1, when he met the winners of a prize for theologians named after him. He was seated and looked exceptionally weak.

Benedict, the first German pope in 1,000 years, was elected on April 19, 2005 to succeed the widely popular Pope John Paul II, who reigned for 27 years.